Colour can add energy and even a sense of fun to your table. It sets the tone for the evening as you notice how your guests respond to the spirit of your lively table.
You can mix colours to invigorate a table setting. Collect interesting china accents like charger or dessert plates as well as accessories such as table runners and placemats.
The colour can start with the china. One option is to choose classic china in bone or porcelain, perhaps white with just a rim of colour or metal, then add colour in the accessories.
Platinum trim on china has been the favourite metal for a number of years. Paired with silver flatware, it gives the table continuity and brilliance.
Gold, however, is rebounding (and, as always, there is a good reason). Gold always has been the precious metal around which opulence was built from jewellery to china to flatware and we are returning to opulence in our home decor especially in our table settings. Also, look for both gold and platinum trim on crystal and gold trim on silver or stainless steel flatware.
Charger plates can be collected in a single colour but an interesting option is to have each plate a different colour.
For an evening party, have a variety of votives around the table perhaps one at each place setting. Their flickering light adds a special mood to a table.
If your plates are multi-coloured, repeat those colours in table runners. Mexican, African or East Indian prints can be rich and exciting.
Alternately, go for texture. Consider straw placemats in bright colours.
If you have the time, sew an outrageous trim on your napkins, such as pom-poms.
If you enjoy the beauty of a formal table, look at charger plates in a colour that complements your china. Silver or gold charger plates or plates rimmed with metal are other dazzling choices.
If you want an option to the always-elegant white or ivory linen tablecloth, consider runners in a richly formal fabric, such as damask.
Linen napkins may match the tablecloth, but if you opt for runners, napkins edged with lace or satin would be an elegant touch.
You can’t beat fresh flowers for the centre of a table, but surround them with long tapers (or make the candles a part of the flower arrangement).
Dining outdoors presents special challenges such as the possibility of breezes that will disturb the table.
Candles create magic, but they may need some protection.
If you’re eating outdoors, small hurricane lamps will protect the candles from the breezes. If you’re using votives, pick up miniature hurricane lamps to cover each tiny candle.
Instead of a tall table centre (which is too easily disturbed by wind), combine low candles with varied coloured blossoms floating in a dish. A pretty crystal bowl or even a cream soup bowl from your china will do the job.
We think of china as lasting forever, and sometimes it does. Nevertheless, there are fashion trends that influence the way we set our tables.
White embossed china as the basic china, then brightened by being surrounded with subtle colour that reflects nature, such as stone or pebbles, as the basic china but with colour accents.
China that is rimmed with a metal either platinum or gold.
Colour, either jewel tones or pastels, reflected in salad and dessert plates that complement the rest of the china.
Interesting shapes. Square is popular. Soft scalloping imbues a romantic feel. Oval is interesting. Round is classic.
Opulence, glamour and romance instead of minimalism as we revel in luxurious-looking tables.